Weekend Box Office: Mean Girls and Beekeeper have solid debuts

Audiences embraced the stage adaptation of Mean Girls and the Jason Statham fronted Beekeeper while ignoring The Book of Clarence.

After last weeks first new release of the year, Night Swim, failed to really make a mark, this week is seeing two new releases rise to the occasion as Mean Girls landed in first place with a solid $28 million followed by the Jason Statham fronted The Beekeeper with $16.7 million. 

Mean Girls opening number puts it just $8 million away from recouping its production budget, which again speaks to how keeping a films budget in check can yield great results ($300 million budgeted movies just aren’t sustainable!) The new musical, adapted from the stage play that was in turn adapted from the 2004 film, opened slightly better than its predecessor ($24.4 million. Although if you were to adjust for inflation, 2004’s Mean Girls would have opened with $39.6 million.) 

Critics seemed to find enough to like in this update/ adaptation to recommend it (including our own Tyler Nichols who gave it a 7/10 review). While audiences seem to be a bit more lukewarm on the film, slapping it with a below average 66% audience score, a B cinemascore and a not great 3 stars in audience exit polling. The good news is that the film has a bit of a runway as the rest of January has no real clear cut competition (I.S.S and Founders Day come out next week, but aren’t expected to ignite the box office. The week after has no major new releases while the week after should see a new champ when Argylle opens on February 1st.) Of course with those audience numbers, I wonder how good the word of mouth will be for this one. Im sure it will take first place again next week, but with what type of drop off will be the big question.

David Ayer has seen his fair share of headlines over the past few years, mostly to do with his Director’s Cut of Suicide Squad and how it seems he has finally given up hope that it will ever see the light of day. But this weekend he is getting a much needed boost as his film with Jason Statham, The Beekeeper, launched with a better than expected $16.7 million, $5.7 million more than we predicted in our Thursday predictions. Not only is this a big bounce back for Director Ayer, but also for Statham as his last two films (Meg 2, Expendables 4) were underwhelming bombs. With a $40 million budget, this movie could have enough success to where I wouldn’t be surprised if a Beekeeper 2 was announced soon.

The big winner of the holiday season, Wonka, moves down to third place with $8.3 million and a running domestic total of $176.1 million. The film opened with $40 million and would have struggled to hit $100 million domestic had it not been for its incredible word of mouth with audiences embracing this prequel film that provided just the right mix of nostalgia for the original 1971 film (WIlly Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) while adding its own magical cinematic flair thanks to director Paul King who did the same thing with his Paddington films. 

Fourth place sees the R rated comedy Anyone But You continue to have tremendous word of mouth as it takes in an additional $6.9 million, representing just a 29% drop from last week. Movies like these tend to open modestly and then begin their descent into obscurity, but audiences have embraced this Sydney Sweeney/ Glen Powell team up that will hopefully lead to a much needed resurgence of the R-rated comedy.

anyone but you review

Rounding out the top five is Migration with $6.1 million as families continue to flock to this animated tale from Illumination. The film has a running total of $85.7 million and should join the $100 million club in a few weeks.

Sixth place belongs to the surprisingly resilient Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom with another $5.2 million added to its domestic total of $108.2 million. While that number may seem unimpressive for a big superhero movie, you can not deny that this film has played far better than other recent DCEU movies that faded away quickly after their debuts. So while not the massive hit the original film was, there is a bright spot to the final entry in the DCEU.

Rounding out the top ten are Night Swim which predictably fell hard in its second week, losing 61% of its audience for a $4.6 million weekend take. Eighth place goes to the George Clooney directed The Boys in the Boat with $3.5 million added to its domestic total of $39.3 million followed by the new release The Book of Clarence that absolutely bombed with just $2.5 million. While spot ten goes to the sadly Award season over-looked true story The Iron Claw with another $2.4 million added to its solid $28.6 million running total. It is a genuine shame this film hadn’t gained any traction in the awards circuit because it is a genuinely good movie about a tragic story many of us may not have known about. Outside the top ten is where you will find Soul with around $500,000 for the weekend. Disney’s decision to release their pandemic stricken films that they had dumped onto their streaming service is proving to be a failed experiment. I wonder if after the lackluster performance of Soul, they will cancel the releases of Turning Red and Luca?

Did you make it to theaters this weekend or were you one of the many affected by the massive snow storms across the United States? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check out our weekly poll where we ask: What is your Favorite Stage-to-Screen Adaptation?

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/weekend-box-office-mean-girls-and-beekeeper-have-solid-debuts/